The New Observer International affairs Propaganda and disaster

Propaganda and disaster

This is my favourite Times Radio presenter. She has this wide-eyed look of total innocence and cult-like belief in the narratives of the West.

I am struck by the dialog at 8.10. It is absolutely bizarre. Listen carefully. “You are clear in your mind that anyone who says NATO is next is wrong. Given NATO’s extensive and nuclear capabilities, economic, technological and demographic advantages, how much of this is about touting a narrative to scare the West into avoiding escalation? When people go around into saying NATO is next, it’s a very good way of persuading people not to escalate and to come back from supplying Ukraine what its asking for”.

The interviewee who is a former British military man, (one of those who are at least honest about their battlefield assessments, if still operating within an overall Western mindset, whereby Russia is not allowed to do what the West allows to itself, such as influence operations), explains that he is sure that Russia has no intention at all of attacking NATO. He makes the point very clearly and well.

Now; go back to our friend from Times Radio. What is she saying? She appears to be saying: “Russia is saying ‘NATO is next’ in order to scare countries into not ‘giving Ukraine what they are asking for'”. As anyone who is following this knows; the precise opposite is true. The countries who are saying “NATO is next” are, Ukraine, obviously, and the Baltic States and Poland (former Soviet protégées who are at the forefront – understandably maybe – of arguing for a ‘tough line’ on Russia), who are trying to scare the US and Western Europe into giving Ukraine what they are asking for and escalating. It is not Russia saying “NATO is next”. It is the Baltic state NATO countries and Poland. The absurd journalist has completely inverted reality. What is strange is she appears to be reading the question, which makes it hard to explain this as some kind of temporary effect of getting muddled over her words. One could just put this down to a ghastly lack of expertise in the field. But I am inclined to put it down to some kind of propagandistic instinct in the team who drafted the questions; they want to hide the fact that Eastern Europe is urging escalation and, at the same time, there is some kind of knee-jerk attempt to attribute something/anything to Russia, especially threats, since that fits the general profile of Russia in the Western mind. These kinds of total falsehoods are increasingly appearing in the narrative.

It is also interesting that after the speaker clearly points out that Russia is not in fact threatening NATO the starry-eyed journalist immediately starts talking about the threat from influence and subversion activities. There must be a threat from Russia. – Even if it is only on Facebook.

Meanwhile I read that Germany is to give another Patriot system to Ukraine and more missiles. The image that comes to mind is of a gambler pouring money into a losing streak. He is past the point when there is any rationality or any hope of victory. He just does it out of a kind of despair. He can’t tear himself away from the table and admit his existing loss. According to this Polish website Germany had 13 patriot batteries in 2018. I don’t know how accurate that is, (or indeed exactly what is meant by a ‘battery’), but the general point is – Western Europe is giving Ukraine material of war to the extent that we are weakening our own defences. The UK gave Ukraine 14 (I think) Challenger tanks for the failed Spring offensive. We have something like 200. Again, approximate; but the reader can see these are donations which are significantly cutting into Western countries’ own reserves.

We were being told a while ago that one ‘benefit’ of this war is that Russia is being weakened ‘for free’. David Cameron made just this unimaginably obscene argument recently on his tour of the US aimed at trying to get Congress to produce the much hoped for USD 61 billion. But, in reality, it seems that Russia is not being weakened. Watch this from 19.03. A US Deputy Secretary of State indicates that Russia “has almost completely reconstituted militarily”. Other news today reports that China is helping Russia very significantly with machine tools and chips to make weapons with. The British MOD recently indicated that Russia is recruiting 30,000 men a month to fight in Ukraine. Even if Ukraine’s wild figures for the number of Russians killed were true the Russian army would still be growing bigger! Who is being weakened militarily – Russia or the West?

After Afghanistan one would have thought that they wouldn’t do it again. I am talking about pouring money into a war you can’t win. – I would add; one reason the West loses is that for them. it is not an existential fight, as it was for the Taliban in Afghanistan and is for Russia in Ukraine. The West is throwing some money out and trying to achieve some political goals by military means. That is not the same thing. If you put two boxers in the ring and one is fighting for his life, (perceives himself to be – which is what counts), and one is fighting for a little bit of show-boating, who do you think is going to win?